Stormland Interview

8 min read

Future is uncertain. Poverty, cataclysms, global warming, fight for blind ideology. Planet Earth is in doubt. New worlds are about to be sought in order to save ourselves here. Future wars are inevitable. . On the planet Earth and in Space – wars for new better places for existence. The nations will always have something to disagree with, willing to conquer new worlds, create colonies, and establish slavery. With weapons and blood.
Justin Pierrot knows something more about it, and he is trying to warn us in his Stormland’s brand new album “Songs of Future Wars”. My brother in arms UHF shared his thoughts about the album in his review. We invited Justin for a chat on all those matters, and more. Besides he seems to be close with the intergalactic generals and troops. Is everything just a science fiction? Let’s ask him!

– Hello, Justin! Thank you for taking time for this interview!
– It’s my pleasure, Vladi! Thank you for speaking with me!

– First of all let’s present Justin Pierrot to our readers
– Hey everybody! So, I’m just a working class Canadian guy, with a wife, 2 kids, and 3 guitars. I like to make music, and so here I am.

– You play…a lot of instruments…:-)))
– I suppose I do! I’m not the greatest player, but I know a bit about the concept of each instrument. Enough to be a danger to myself! Haha! But really, it’s just out of necessity.

– Now, please introduce to our readers Stormland. It is the main matter for our conversation. The band is active since 2003 and you are taking care of everything…
– Yes, that’s right. I originally came from a small town where I had friends who were into metal, but nothing as extreme as what I liked, so I just decided to go my on way. Along the way, I went to recording school and learned to how to do everything myself. I wrote songs, recorded them, worked at getting better, and “Songs of Future Wars” is the results of that work to date.

-What was your idea and goal by creating Stormland?
– I just wanted to make the death metal I wanted to hear, man. No lofty goals beyond hopefully selling enough to get a label interested in licensing the album for a physical release. Tapes, CDs, vinyl… Doesn’t matter, I’d be down.

– Usually the musicans of one-man bands are part of many other projects, but you are fully devoted to Stormland. Why did you decide to go only with Stormland? No plans for other bands?
– I might seem extroverted, but I’m really not. Working on the songs is something that I enjoy and helps scratch a creative itch. Now that I’m feeling more comfortable as a musician, I can confirm that I have another project called Unlucky Star that I hope to finish this year with Richard Weeks of Olivia Neutered John/Blackened Death Records fame. I’m writing the music, and he’s singing. It’s all anime-influenced, which is par for the course for he and I. We actually have a song on his Worldwide Organization of Metalheads Against Nazis (W.O.M.A.N.) comp from earlier this year! Then there’s another one I can’t talk too much about that I need to sit down and bash out the songs for once the Stormland release cycle winds down

– Where is the stormland actually?
– The Stormland is located on Kataklysm’s “Epic: The Poetry of War.” Legit, I just took the name from one of their most awesome songs! Not the most exciting story, I know, but it’s true.

– Your first full-length mindblowing album “Songs of Future Wars” is out on 3 August! Congratulations! I know you are very much into details concerning the production, so tell us more about it, and all around the recording and the releasing of the album
– Well, I always liked the approach that Revocation took with their “Chaos in Forms” album. It was like a mixtape, where you could clearly hear different main influences from song to song. So, I took that idea with me as I wrote and recorded. I recorded all the instruments at home, using my Ibanez RG tuned to B standard and my Jackson Warrior tuned to C# standard. For the bass, I used a borrowed Oscar Schmidt 4 string. It was all recorded into Cubase, with the guitar and bass tones coming courtesy of Postive Grid’s BIAS Amp and BIAS FX suite. Vocals were recorded at the Harbourside Institute studios in North Vancouver with my friend Spencer Ratzlaff, who knocked it out of the park. Like, seriously, track him down if you need someone for movie post-production, which is his speciality. If it has to do with a voice, he’s the man for the job. I did the mixing and mastering myself at home after that.

– What did take you 15 years to release it?
– Well, I suppose it took 15 years for a debut full length, yes! There have been demos and EPs, and one full length that was lost to computer crash – for the better, really – and just me taking my time, recording and writing when I have a moment and really working to make the best songs I could. Once you have kids, especially, you don’t have as much time as you used to.

– What do those abbreviations on each song mean?
– Oh, those? Those are the unit/model numbers for each of the mobile suits referenced in the songs. It’s an album about the mecha and and pilots from the Mobile Suit Gundam meta-series, after all! For example, the “ASW-G-08” is the Barbatos Gundam from Iron-Blooded Orphans, while the MBF-02 is the Strike Rouge from Gundam SEED. The GAT-X207 Blitz Gundam and GAT-X105E Enhanced Strike Gundam are from the same Gundam SEED timeline as well, actually.

– Is that solidly politically charged album? What are your messages there?
– I don’t know about “solidly,” but there’s definitely some politics to it. I hadn’t written thinking about politics, but the lyrics get into some real anti-war by going into the horrors of it. Child soldiers, trauma. There’s a song about a woman seizing back power that was taken from her, so there’s feminism in there as well, in retrospect. Nothing wrong with a woman taking the reigns of power, right? Certainly wouldn’t hurt to see more of it. “Hero Terror Tactics (XXXG-01W)” is about what happens when you believe in your heart that the ends justify the means. You may be the hero when it’s all said and done and the history books are written, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not a terrorist either. And the character in the song knows that, and is still willing to go ahead and do what he does.

– What are the future wars according to you? When can we expect them?
– Well, it’s science fiction, in the case of the album. All the wars are in futures where we colonize space and the one side or another tries to oppress the other. As far as when WE can expect them? Probably within about 40 years of establishing orbital and/or lunar colonies.

– Can we avoid the future wars?
– Sure, by giving any future space colonies independence when they achieve self-sustainability. Revamping the economic system wouldn’t hurt, either.

– Is it so easy to record and release an album nowadays, with all technology and the beauty of Internet?
– It’s easy to record and release an album these days, not so easy to get people to buy it! Therein lies the rub! You can build a decent recording rig for under $1000CAD including a computer, but that doesn’t mean boo if youc an’t get eyes and ears on your finished prodcut. 100%, I wouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near the attention I’ve gotten without the help of Dewar PR, so bands, if you want to get ANYWHERE, hire Curtis to run your PR campaigns!

– Tell us more about the Gundam models which may be ordered together with the album?- Well, they’re all kits I’ve built, most of which inspired songs on the album. All but one, the fully custom-painted AbBael, were purchased at a local store called Metropolis Comics and Toys. I buy most of my paint and supplies there, too. Building a kit usually takes me a couple of hours, with another 2-6 hours spent on painting depending on the complexity of the colour scheme and look I want.

– What to expect in the near future from you and Stormland? Any plans to tour or you would prefer to work from the studio?
– I prefer to work from the studio. I never really had the mindset needed to tour, and I wouldn’t want to leave my family to run around the countryside with a bunch of dudes hoping to break even.

– What are your favourite bands and main influences?
– First influence is Kataklysm, for sure. That run from “Epic: The Poetry of War” to “Serenity in Fire” is tough to beat. Fear Factory, Dismember, At the Gates, Hatebreed… They’ve all been long time influences too. A recent influence, as well as a real inspiration to push myself, is Allegaeon. Those dudes inspire me to improve. I may always be chasing after their level of technique and songwriting acument, but it gives me a goal to go after too.

– How do you see the Canadian scene these days? Any favourite Canadian band?
– I think the Canadian scene is pretty healthy. There’s an active summer festival circuit, and Vancouver’s Modified Ghost Festival is fast becoming a rival to Maryland Death Fest. There are great Canadian bands, too. Gross Misconduct is a long-time favorite, Domestikwom is doing some neat things with black metal. Hexripper is great for when you need your fix of Venom/Motorhead worship… There’s a lot to love!

– Is there anything else you would like to share with us or to add?
– Be excellent to eachother! Don’t hate or discriminate people based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity! Oh, and stop supporting racist bands! And finally, when you’re thinking of starting something, don’t ask yourself, “Why?” Ask yourself, “Why not?”

– Thank you very much once again for your time and this interview! Good luck with Stormland and all your future plans! At Blessed Altar Zine will be looking closely on everything around Justin Pierrot.

Interview by Count Vlad


**Please support the underground! It’s vital to the future of our genre